Release the "mommy guilt," cut yourself some slack and take a little "me" time. I'm hoping to combine a cup of fact, and sprinkle in just enough of my own experience along with a dash of my failures to help you see that no matter the recipe you are a better mother than you give yourself credit for! If you have come looking for perfect punctuation and spelling, well then you are in the wrong place. In fact I am totally one of those people who use punctuation as an accessory. Ya know? Like hair bows.

If you need REAL advice from REAL working and stay at home mom's on pregnancy, childbirth and everything from the newborn to teenage year's. You have come to the right place! Sit back, relax, contribute your comments and......don't forget to take time to smell the baby lotion.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

If ya can't beat 'em, motivate 'em.

When my kids were little I brushed their teeth religiously, bathed them every night in summer and every other in the winter (my kids have crazy eczema skin). Taught them the importance of washing their hands. Started putting hand sanitizer everywhere because I don't trust my kids to wash their hands for 20 seconds. Alas, I have been defeated. Between my working nights, my husbands job and his church responsibilities my children are left to their own devices often. Don't worry, they are turning 14 and 11. Totally old enough to handle it. EXCEPT......making sure they shower and brush their teeth. I know right? I can't even believe it myself. Judge me if you will but if they don't shower it's not for my lack of reminding them and believe me, on nights that I'm home we have no problems.
So...I went to my fail proof way of getting them to do whatever I want. :) Bribery. Best part? They think they are EARNING the money for their good hygiene habits. Bwhahaha! (Evil mother laugh)
Today I made a stop at my local Dollar Store and picked up a few things.

Yep...$4 total. Notice I picked stones that are a neutral color. I wanted them to match my bathroom and frankly, my kids are too big for fun bright cutesy things. The idea behind this will work for even toddlers, just choose your containers and fillers according to their age and likes. On with the project. I used the lettering and put my words of choice on the glass containers and then filled one with the pebbles and the other is for the pebbles after they accomplish the task. Again, younger children may need more instruction and assistance but I have already discussed with my pre-teens that they will
move 1 pebble each day for brushing their teeth morning and night and one for showering. (still can't believe my attempts at yelling, threatening and begging have left me with nothing left but bribery.)

So, my finished project came out pretty good if I do say so myself. Just a few minutes and less than $5 and we have our latest reward system.

Wash   Brush   Clean

The best part is as their reward for filling the "Clean" jar I am going to pay them for their efforts. We don't really do an allowance in our house so this is another great opportunity for my kids to earn money and they don't have to work as hard as they do when they clean their rooms and do their chores. Happy bribing!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Toddler Take Alongs from Jen @ eatingmycandy

I have this super amazing friend that has more creativity in her pinkie finger than I could imagine having in my entire body. She has a great post over on her blog about making little "Toddler Take Alongs" out of get this....old pill bottles!

Check out her whole post and the instructions here

Happy Crafting!

Hiding the Crap

You read right. It's well know that with kids comes a load of crap. Literally and figuratively. This time we aren't talking dirty diapers. We're talking and more toys. Then there's the necessities of life, diapers, wipes, bottles. Random shoes and socks that surface, blankies. SO. MUCH. STUFF.

Unless you have a superhero cape around your neck and are probably delusional there's no way to keep the house picked up all the time. Well....until now. I have a saying in my house, it's about the illusion of clean. Basically you're house doesn't have to be totally clean to look clean. So, what's the trick right? Decorative storage. Yep. Hide the crap. :) This isn't perfect parenting remember. It's REAL parenting. We have got to quit comparing ourselves to our neighbors. We all have them, the one that always looks like a million bucks, house is always spotless, kids are dressed better than our best. So what have they got that we don't? Either money to pay a housekeeper and a nanny OR the ability to hide it all.

Example #1
It appears my hallway is so clean. Right?
Haha! Think again. I just found this awesome collapsible box at Walmart for like $10 and behold.....

All the crap.....hidden away.

Again.....Where on earth are all the videos, game systems, books, any other crap that needs a home? Looks like a perfectly clean living room right? That's cause today I have my Wonder Woman cape on. No, not true. I don't even have a cape of any kind and I have no time for Wonder Woman between work, mental breakdowns and failed crafting.

Yes, that's Timmy Turner. It's after school snack time, what do ya want?

It's by no means an organized cupboard but it is the perfect "I don't have time to clean but need my house to look organized" storage place.

Seriously folks, in that cupboard is every movie you could ever imagine on VHS and DVD, the Wii accessories, my husbands record collection (yep, records), an old pillow, some books, a few CD's. Last but not least what used to be the toy dump bin but is now transformed into our electronic cord storage container......(and of course, the color coordinated basket on top for my yarn. remember? failed crafting?)


Seriously folks, don't waist all that precious time with your family cleaning and tidying. The thing I especially like about our storage solutions is that my kids can clean up the mess and there's no way to put it away wrong. Keep your eyes open for a sale. Don't ever pay full price for things like this if you don't have to but if you can find the right item at the right price it can simplify life so much. No more feeling guilty, just tuck it away and wait for a rainy day. Once every so often you can go through and throw out or reorganize your "hiding" spots but it makes the day to day SO much easier. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm not a slacker. I swear!

I wish I could say that I haven't posted because I've just been that plain lazy. Not true friends. With that said I hope you all had a GREAT holiday season and that the beginning of 2012 has been kind to you. It has been almost to kind to me. :)
With the addition of cleaning to the business we have seen such an increase in customers it was hard for a little bit to keep up. But never fear! We're back online ready to share not only the knowledge we've gained through all the fun parenting success and failures we've experience but I have a whole new take on cleaning. Be prepare for some of the AWESOME stuff I've learned and come across. It's never easy to manage a household and a family and a job but it is possible and in the coming weeks I will be sharing with you some tips to help you succeed as CEO of your family.
Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Thanks again!